So beautiful they could be paintings

Amazing pictures of snow-hit Manhattan, old world China and a death-defying mountain road compete for National Geographic Traveler’s top photo prize.  Thanks to Mail Online Travel for sharing these incredible images with us.


These stunning snaps of frozen landscapes, ferocious animals and candid moments are among those in the running for National Geographic Travel’s coveted photographer of the year contest.

The annual competition celebrates the best in travel photography with entrants submitting snaps from their time in destinations such as China, India and the US.

Based on these spectacular shots, competition will be stiff this year. National Geographic Traveler has revealed some of the entrants so far and they are nothing short of breathtaking.

Photographer Michele Palazzo captured this shot of New York's Flatiron Building as the city was walloped by Winter Storm Jonas

Photographer Michele Palazzo captured this shot of New York’s Flatiron Building as the city was walloped by Winter Storm Jonas

Photographer Karen Morris-Lanz was invited to have lunch with a husband and wife during her travels through Longsheng, China

Photographer Karen Morris-Lanz was invited to have lunch with a husband and wife during her travels through Longsheng, China

This mind-bending road cuts through the Gorges du Dades  between walls of rock near to Boumalne, Souss-Massa-Draa, Morocco

This mind-bending road cuts through the Gorges du Dades between walls of rock near to Boumalne, Souss-Massa-Draa, Morocco

—–

Among the astonishing snaps is Angiolo Manetti’s mesmerising photo of a winding road in the Gorges du Dades near Boumalne, Morocco. Drivers must carefully navigate the narrow road, frequently named one of the world’s most dangerous, which takes many twists and turns between walls of rock.

One of the most eye-catching images is from Aashit Desai, who photographed devotees as they carry the palki, or sedan chair, of the god Shiva on the day of Somvati Amavasya, the no moon day, in Jejuri, India. The main ritual is the offering of turmeric powder, but so much is used that all the devotees are covered in it from head to toe.

Photographers have until May 27 to enter the competition. The grand prize winner will receive a seven-day polar bear photo safari for two in Churchill, Manitoba, in Canada’s Arctic – the self-proclaimed polar bear capital of the world and a popular destination for nature photographers.   

During a snowstorm in Bryce Canyon, Utah, a tree cuts a lonely figure against the frozen landscape, where visibility was almost zero

During a snowstorm in Bryce Canyon, Utah, a tree cuts a lonely figure against the frozen landscape, where visibility was almost zero

Devotees covered in turmeric carry the sedan chair of Shiva at the Khandoba temple in Jejuri, India, on Somvati Amavasya, a no moon day

Devotees covered in turmeric carry the sedan chair of Shiva at the Khandoba temple in Jejuri, India, on Somvati Amavasya, a no moon day

Ari Ross came face to face with this scarred polar bear on Wahlenbergfjorden, off of Svalbard, Norway, while in the safety of a boat

A Japanese larch's twig looked like hands and feet of a ballet dancer when exposed to illumination (location: Biei, Hokkaido, Japan)

A Japanese larch’s twig looked like hands and feet of a ballet dancer when exposed to illumination (location: Biei, Hokkaido, Japan)

Manish Mamtani and his companion laid down on a snow-covered bridge and snapped this image from a drone (Mittersill, New Hampshire)

This is a general view of Eid ul Fitr Prayer at Alamgir Mosque in Varanasi, Uttarpradesh, India. Eid prayers, also known as Salat al-Eid and Salat al-Eidain , is the special prayer offered to commemorate two Islamic festivals.This image depicts the Hindu–Muslim brotherhood exploring the dynamics of communal relations in Varanasi-a holy city of the Hindus. Location: Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India

This amazing stacked architecture of Hong Kong shows the housing of its rather dense population. It's visually striking to understand that your whole horizon is built from people's lit windows. It shocks you that each life so big and important to the person himself and his close circle looks just like a tiny star in a huge sky next to millions of the same stars. Location: Hong Kong

This amazing stacked architecture of Hong Kong shows the housing of its rather dense population. It’s visually striking to understand that your whole horizon is built from people’s lit windows. It shocks you that each life so big and important to the person himself and his close circle looks just like a tiny star in a huge sky next to millions of the same stars. Location: Hong Kong

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